Wednesday, May 27, 2009


#147, Pearse Street, Dublin

If the Discovery Channel can have Shark Week, I see no reason why I shouldn't be able to have Lion Week. Lions are mighty creatures and, astrologically speaking anyway, I've quite the affinity with the king of the jungle myself. Although let's face it, I'm not really sure what they're doing in architecture.

They've commandeered the Art Institute in Chicago, they've made themselves at home on the steps of the New York City Public Library (bonus points to anyone who can name the library lions: sans Wikipedia, of course), and in my hometown, I used to look forward to passing a certain favorite lion statuette whenever we hopped in the car to go out to dinner. It guarded the lawn of a house near the bowling alley, raising one paw gingerly and letting out more of a yawn than the MGM lion roar it was probably meant to. As a kid I would, for an entire half mile, start chanting, "The lion! The lion!" upon approach, and my brothers, in response, would specifically tackle me at the moment we were about to pass the lion so I wouldn't get to see it. It disappeared from the lawn for good about a year or two ago, and I still feel a pang any time I pass "the lion's" spot and see that blank space.

This tame brass beast above the 147 looks considerably less ferocious than the fearsome stone PS 142 lion of several days ago, more like he's about to spit out the chestnuts he's been hoarding in his mouth than bite the hand that knocks. I've always wondered why door knockers in Dublin so often have lions and Medusas on them and why not, say, a more welcoming creature. I suppose it may have been in the tradition of the great gargoyles to scare off visitors rather than have them over for tea, though I don't know anyone that'd be scared off by this grim-lipped, cowardly fellow. Succumb to pity, more like.

Lastly - and this has nothing to do with architecture and everything to do with lions - may I wrap up Lion Week with a link to this video clip. Full disclosure: I am a fan of cute lion animation. Also, if you're from Norway, you might take offense.


Jackie said...

I have an affinity for animated lions too. And real lions. Especially Aslan. (I'm pretty sure he's real. We just haven't found the right wardrobe yet.)

I'm commenting from work and youtube is blocked on computers (Big Brother is watching and all that.) so I can't post the link. But I highly suggest a stroll on over to youtube where you type "Lion Reunion" into the search bar. And there will be an AMAZING sight of men who had a pet lion and then released him to Africa and were reunited with him (and his lioness wife) a year later. I fully admit the video made me a tad weepy.

Ray Gunn said...

Patience and Fortitude.

Mah bonus points plz!

facul: a lone professor

Therese Cox said...

All I gotta say, Jac, is that Big Brother is totally missing out.

And yes, Ray, you are hereby awarded with bonus points and heaps of praise for your correct answer. (Former Mayor LaGuardia named them for qualities he thought every New Yorker should have.) Only how do they decide which one wears the Yankees hat and which one wears the Mets hat during a Subway series?

Though I seem to recall a certain someone climbing on top of one of those lions... and I'm not naming names...

Jackie said...

Ray-- I think "facul" is HILARIOUS. I giggled in my school's writing center. Because I'm still here. Grading and grading and grading. And maybe that's why "facul" is funny- because EVERYTHING is funny right now. Or-- more likely, it's legitimately hilarious.

nobub- someone who lays a finger on another's butterfinger.

Therese Cox said...

Oh yes, I loved "facul" too. Legitimately hilarious, but no doubt enhanced by end-of-semester delirium.

Jackie, just stay away from Lou Reed.

"These are the stories of Edgar Allan POE/ Not exactly the boy next DOE."

Therese Cox said...

Poe was a drunk.

Jackie said...

AND: The character Montressor laughed (he he he he. )

Julie said...

I am delighted, but befuddled, by these WVs.